Once there was the newspaper and reading it was "the modern man's morning prayer". Now we are inundated with information and news throughout the day, and our reading time is changing.
"If you're a modern worker, you're constantly being bombarded with information that you want to read, but that environment is not always the appropriate or best time to read that information," said Joshua Benton, director of the Nieman Journalism Lab, quoted by Jenna Wortham of the New York Times.The article focused on how apps have altered the way users read content on the Web allowing readers to decide how, when and where read articles they come across during the all day.
Many services and apps are available today for this purpose.
Wortham cited, amongst others, Read It Later, a Web and mobile service that saves articles to be read offline. Nate Weiner, the founder, is quoted saying that recent analysed data from his service found that iPhone and iPad owners prefer to save article for a personalised prime time, specifically from 8 to 10 pm regarding iPad reading.
Another very popular tool is Readability, a web & mobile app which "turns any web page into a comfortable reading view". Readability, developed by Richard Ziade in 2009 and released online to users free of charge, is now launching a second version that plans to support writers and publishers giving them 70% of all membership fees. "Every time a subscriber uses Readability on your site, a portion of that subscriber's fees are allocated to you" says the website's service addressing to writers and news publishers.
Damon Kiesow on Poynter goes a step forward calling for a "Flipboard for news".
"Since I wrote about mobile tech, I probably have more news apps installed on my iPad than the average person" - he says - but despite having all these apps regarding coverage about events in Egypt for example, "I still felt like I couldn't keep up with the news. No single source has been rich or comprehensive enough to make it a "go to" destination for timely updates".
It's very hard for a single source to provide all the information you need. What seems missing is an aggregation of sources. Twitter could be a good solution but - Kiesow says - "it is not a consumer-friendly solution for everyone. Even for power users, it takes a significant amount of effort to find and track authoritative sources".
So he launched the "Flipboard for news" proposal. Flipboard is the app that puts articles and more shared on social networks like Facebook and Twitter into a magazine layout as well as "feeds from any other site on the Web", Kiesow says. It was also named iTunes app of the year.
However, the present version of Flipboard solves, Kiesow believes, only half the problem, connecting him to endless amount of information but still relying on him to do all the "heavy lifting." There is a need for an app that does what news organization do: editing.
"What I desire is a version of Flipboard that lets me mix a news outlet's original reporting, news presentation and curation with feeds from my social networks" he says.
Which media outlet is going to satisfy his request?